Or call them, Tarte au Poires en Cage, which sounds even more delectable. This recipe and I go waaaay back to a group of friends who shared recipes on a board on Gardenbuddies.com. We fell in love with this recipe and the lattice pastry roller that cuts a beautiful lattice design in pie crust or puff pastry. If you don't have a lattice pastry roller, you could simple cut slits in the puff pastry with a knife or wrap them in puff pastry and add cut-outs for decoration. Flowers would be very cute at this time of year.
At our most recent gourmet group gathering at a friend's home, my assigned recipe was a French Pear Tart with Frangipane for the dessert. Each couple is assigned one recipe so that the host and hostess can concentrate on the main course and everything else that goes into entertaining a group of ten people. Our assigned recipe reminded me so much of these caged pears and I knew the host and hostess wouldn't mind if I made the substitution as the recipes are much alike and this is such a lovely presentation.
Even though pear season is drawing to a close, there are still good pears to be found and these are poached and baked anyway so even less than perfect will do. So, if you or your mother loves pears, maybe you could treat her to this wonderful dessert on Sunday :)
We are finally having some beautiful, spring weather in the Midwest ~ new life is everywhere. The scilla made a beautiful blue carpet in front of our home next to the road. One person even stopped their car to ask me about the beautiful blue flowers. The white helleborus has abundant blooms. The hyacinths are in bloom and the pansies are finally planted. Even the floor of our wooded area is waking up with the green umbrellas of May Apples. It's wonderful to see color again.
I hope you all have a beautiful Mother's Day this Sunday!
Pears in Puff Pastry with Lemon Caramel Sauce
Adapted from Here
Makes 6 pears in pastry.
Special Optional Equipment: Lattice Pastry Roller
Special Optional Equipment: Lattice Pastry Roller
1 pkg puff pastry (2 sheets)
3 firm pears
1 cup sugar
3 cups water
1/2 cup almond paste – found in the pie fillings area – Solo is the brand I used
3-4 tbsp cream
3-4 tbsp apricot jam
Heat oven to 375F.
Place 1 sheet of thawed puff pastry on parchment paper and unfold. Gently roll seams with a rolling pin and then roll a lattice pastry roller across pastry and put back in refrigerator.
(Alternately, if you do not have a lattice cutter you could try making your own designs in the puff pastry with a sharp knife or simply wrap the pear in pastry and add cut-outs over the top before baking. Simply follow the procedure for making pastry cut-outs from the puff pastry 1/2" larger than the pear halves.)
Take the other sheet of puff pastry and cut out shape of a pear about 1/2" larger all around than a halved pear. Cut as many as the number of pear halves you wish to make. You can use the hard paper divider inside the puff pastry package to cut a template to use. Chill all of the pastry while proceeding with the next steps.
Peel the pears, cut in half, core with a melon baler and rub with the lemon half.
In a saute pan large enough to hold the pear halves, bring the sugar and water to a simmer and add the pears. Cover partially and simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until there is only a slight resistance to a knife when inserted into a pear. When done, set aside pears on a paper towel.
To assemble and bake:
In a small bowl whisk together the egg and cream.
Take the pear half cut-out pastry out of the refrigerator. Take a small scoop of almond paste and roll in your hand to make an oblong shape and place it in the scooped out part of the pear from top to bottom and place the pear, cut side down, on the pear-shaped pastry cut-out. Brush the edge of pastry around the pear with the egg mixture.
Take a piece of latticed pastry (or larger piece of plain pastry) large enough to fit over one pear half and slowly and gently pull apart the dough so a lattice forms. Do this when the dough is as cold as possible but not so cold it breaks. You may have to go over the slits with a paring knife if they weren’t cut through to the bottom.
Lay each piece gently on top of the pear (the colder the dough the easier to handle). Press down gently and trim the edges with a paring knife.
Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash.
Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes or until the pastry turns a golden brown.
Combine the apricot jam and water and microwave until warm. Mix it together then strain it to get out the clumps of apricot. Brush it over the pears when they come out of the oven to give it a shiny glaze.
Garnish it with caramel sauce or a small scoop of the best vanilla ice cream you can find.
Caramel Sauce with Lemon
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
Stir sugar, water, and lemon juice in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber color, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Add in cream (mixture will bubble vigorously). Return to low heat; stir until any bits of caramel dissolve. Add butter; whisk until smooth. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)